BPCL to skip Iran oil purchases in October

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India’s state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) will skip the purchase of Iranian oil in October due to a turnaround at its plants, reported Reuters with reference to a source privy to the plan.

The refiner will, however, lift 1 million barrels of Iranian oil this month, said the source, who did not wish to be identified.

There was no immediate response from BPCL on Reuters’ email seeking comments.

BPCL has changed a crude mix for its 240,000 barrels per day (bpd) Mumbai refinery after shutting down the fire-hit hydrocracker unit last month to optimize its processing and output of refined products, said the source.

The hydrocracker unit will remain shut for at least another two months.

The refiner’s 120,000 bpd Bina refinery in central India is also shut down for about 45 days from mid-August.

As MRC informed previously, BPCL plans to build a USD3 billion petrochemical unit to serve the Mumbai region, a company official said, to profit from the country's expected surge in demand for petrochemicals as its economy expands. BPCL's expansion is part of a national plan to spend USD35 billion on petrochemical production in order to meet the expected increase in consumption of the chemicals for products including plastics, paints and adhesives. India currently only produces about 20 million tonnes a year of petrochemicals, less than the 40 million tonnes of demand expected for the 2017/18 financial year.

DSM and FormFutura announce distribution collaboration

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal DSM, a global science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living, has announced that FormFutura will distribute its high performance additive manufacturing filaments to customers in the fast-growing additive manufacturing/3D printing industry, as per DSM's press release.

The collaboration gives manufacturers, OEMs, designers and 3D printing service bureaus access to DSM additive manufacturing filaments for prototyping and industrial parts production.

A 25-year pioneer in stereolithography, DSM started developing high performance filaments based on its engineering plastics portfolio. Building on the company’s deep market-specific application understanding and expertise, DSM is further expanding its additive manufacturing activities into all polymer processing technology platforms - including experience from years of research in Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Multi Jet Fusion, Ink Jet and Binder Jet processes.

"At DSM, we believe that partnerships across the additive manufacturing ecosystem are critical to unlock the full potential of this new technology,” said Jill Cohen, Global Director Marketing & Sales for DSM Additive Manufacturing. “Our collaboration with FormFutura allows us to extend our global reach, providing customers with easy ordering and support for our high-performance filaments across all regions and markets."

"We are proud of this collaboration with DSM as we see a rapidly growing demand in the FFF 3D printing market for industrial grade and high-performance materials in both industrial and SME sectors," said Arnold Medenblik, CEO of FormFutura. "The DSM materials are a great addition to our FormFutura product range and through our global network of resellers, these high-performance polymers will now be available to everyone. This new portfolio will also open doors to new markets for both FormFutura and our partners."

As MRC wrote before, in May 2018, Royal DSM announced that it has entered a preferred partnership with Chromatic 3D Materials to introduce thermoset materials for 3D-printing of finished manufactured goods.

FormFutura is a global supplier of filaments to the additive manufacturing industry, delivering excellent customer service, quality and service throughout the entire supply chain. Due to their operational effectiveness and customer focus they can unburden customers and add value to their supply chain by offering favorable purchase conditions and an extremely fast supply and (re)stocking of DSM products.

Royal DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials.

India's MRPL naphtha sales premium falls to more than 1-year low

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India’s Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd naphtha sales premium has fallen to a more than one-year low as high supplies weighed, three traders who track the deals closely said, as per Reuters.

MRPL sold 35,000 tonnes for Oct. 7-9 loading from New Mangalore to Socar at around USD10 a tonne above Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis.

That was down from an average USD15 a tonne premium it had fetched for two cargoes sold for September loading. It was also the lowest premium MRPL has fetched since it sold cargoes for September 2017 loading.

As MRC wrote before, in August 2015, MRPL initiated its downward integration by amalgamation with ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals Limited (OMPL).

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), is an oil refinery at Mangalore and is a subsidiary of ONGC, set up in 1993. The refinery is located at Katipalla, north from centre of Mangalore city. The refinery was established after displacing five villages of Bala, Kalavar, Kuthetoor, Katipalla, and Adyapadi.

S.Africas Competition Tribunal approves Glencores bid for Chevron assets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Africa’s Competition Tribunal conditionally approved Glencore’s proposed USD973 million acquisition of Chevron Corp’s subsidiary in the country, all but scuppering a rival bid from China’s Sinopec, as per Reuters.

Chevron agreed last year to sell its 75 percent stake to state-owned Sinopec, before miner and commodities trader Glencore swooped in after reaching a deal with minority shareholders, who backed it and exercised preemptive rights on the sale.

The assets include a 110,000 barrel-per-day oil refinery in Cape Town, a lubricants plant in Durban as well as 845 service stations and other oil storage facilities. It also includes 220 convenience stores across South Africa and Botswana.

South Africa’s competition watchdog approved the bid in August, but the Competition Tribunal makes the final ruling on deals.

Sinopec’s bid was also approved by the competition authorities but the Tribunal said Glencore-backed OTS had right of first refusal to close the transaction.

The conditions for the proposed merger included the preservation of jobs after the deal and the continuation of CSA retirees’ medical aid subsidy among others, it said.

Wacker invests in new equipment at Jena biotech site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker has enhanced its Jena production facilities for biopharmaceuticals – also known as biologics – with new equipment. Furthermore, an inspection by the Brazilian health authority ANVISA assessing the site’s quality standards was a major success, as per Worldofchemicals.

Both developments increase the appeal of the Jena site and offer benefits to customers. The company invested €2.5 million in, among other things, a fully automated fermentation plant including a new bioreactor with a capacity of 350 litres, a new separator for efficiently isolating cells and a new GMP cell-bank suite. The suite enables independent cell-bank production and expands storage capacity for customer cell banks.

Furthermore, analytical capacities were expanded with a new micro-biology laboratory and equipment for process and product characterization. A modern eDMS system now enables the automatic handling of GMP documentation. As a result, Wacker Biotech’s Jena site is fully equipped to supply the fast-growing market for biologics. Future-oriented therapeutic agents now make up 25 percent of the global pharmaceuticals market.

Another positive signal came with the recent visit from the Brazilian health authority ANVISA. After a five-day inspection of the production facility in April 2018, the ANVISA team confirmed that the Jena site complies with the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) principles and standards for the production of high-quality active ingredients. The health authority not only praised the GMP system itself, but also the outstanding organization and the professionalism of the WACKER employees.

The pre-approval inspection by ANVISA experts was arranged, because one of WACKER’s customers intends to market its cancer medication in Brazil. Wacker Biotech has been producing the active ingredient using a new, efficient, recombinant method since 2016.